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Nuclear Power, Electrification, and Carbon-Free Fuel Are Key to INL Achieving Net-Zero by 2031

August 23, 2023

In 2021, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Director John Wagner set a lofty goal for the lab to achieve net-zero carbon emissions within 10 years. An uninformed observer might think that would be an easy task for an organization as focused on energy as INL, but it’s important to recognize that the lab is spread over nearly 900 square miles—about three-quarters the size of the state of Rhode Island.

To shuttle the lab’s nearly 5,400 employees everywhere they need to go across that vast territory, INL has a fleet of about 85 motor coaches (Figure 1) with an operating schedule that runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With all the transportation and 357 buildings to heat and cool throughout the year, achieving net-zero is a significant challenge.

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